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Rail News: Intermodal
PANYNJ seeks fare and capital plan changes, notes latest cargo and ridership records
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's (PANYNJ) board last week initiated public comment measures for the authority's proposed toll and fare increases, and a reassessment of its 2017-2026 capital plan to include $4.8 billion in additional spending.
The board has scheduled six public hearings in July — including three in New York and three in New Jersey — and established a public comment period through Sept. 13.
PANYNJ is proposing the first inflation-based toll increases for its six bridges and tunnels since 2015; changes to the Port Authority Trans-Hudson's (PATH) fare structure; and the first increases to AirTrain fares in 14 years. For example, the fare for AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark would rise from $5.00 and $5.50, respectively, to $7.75, effective Nov. 1. PATH's base fare would remain at $2.75, but the discount for multi-trip purchases would be reduced and the per-ride price for multi-trip purchases would be adjusted as of Nov. 1.
Meanwhile, the capital plan — which would increase from $32.2 billion to $37 billion — calls for a new AirTrain Newark and additional dollars for AirTrain LGA, both projected to be funded by incremental project-related revenue; the addition of a PATH improvement plan, electric vehicle infrastructure and planning for a new terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport.
"Regional growth is driving record volumes across our facilities all while the agency is delivering on unprecedented levels of infrastructure investment," said PANYNJ Chairman Kevin O'Toole in a press release. "We look forward to hearing from the public on the proposals, which build on the work of previous boards and are necessary to maintain our commitment to transforming legacy assets into modern, world-class facilities capable of meeting 21st century expectations."
PANYNJ also announced that PATH's ridership was on a record pace through 2019's first five months, reaching 33.63 million total passengers. The year-to-date average weekday ridership stood at 281,649 passengers, a record high for the first five months of a year.
In addition, the Port of New York and New Jersey set a cargo record at 3,041,814 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) through May. The port also handled a monthly record of 643,706 TEUs in May, up 8.4 percent year over year.
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